+Stunning graphics on Tegra tablets
+Great level design
-Requires either grinding or in-app purchases
-Needs a more developer story
Final score: 7 / 10
Controller support: No
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad.Requires iOS 4.2 or later.
Works on most devices, has extended support for Tegra 3 tablets.
Mobile games designed for smartphones and tablets running Android or iOS are getting better and better, both in terms of mechanics, as developers need to creatively cope with only allowing players to interact through the touchscreen, but also in terms of visuals, as devices are getting more and more powerful.
Dead Trigger is a perfect example of this rapid expansion, as it arrives from Madfinger Games, the same studio behind the already impressive Shadowgun.
With the promise of top notch visuals, powered by the Unity Engine, as well as impressive first-person shooter mechanics, as opposed to Shadowgun’s third-person ones, Dead Trigger might actually be the game that propels mobile titles into the mainstream.
Does the shooter manage to hit the target or does it completely miss its goal? Let’s find out.
Explore different environments ...
... and shoot lots of zombies
Story-wise, the game delivers its plot through one short cinematic and just blobs of text. While there are some critiques to current culture and class warfare, most players will simply skip over it in order to get to the action, which is delivered by various missions across a city ransacked by zombies.
Your quests are split into three basic categories as you need to either explore a level and kill a number of zombies, defend a certain thing, or find and retrieve different packages from various locations.
While these missions sound varied enough, the actual gameplay is quite repetitive, as all you do is shoot zombies with progressively better weapons. The different and upgradeable guns may relieve some of this repetition but, in order to actually get them, you need to acquire in-game currency and XP.
This can be done traditionally, by repeating various side quests, or via in-app purchases, by paying real-life money. You can avoid spending any cash but, in order to gain access to some of the best weapons and stop grinding, you really do need to drop some amount of money.
As with many shooters on tablets or phones, controls are a tricky aspect and, while Shadowgun managed to feel quite decent, Dead Trigger doesn’t retain the same scheme. You have the movement pad on the left, which spawns wherever you place your thumb, while the actual aiming pad is relegated to a tiny portion of the right corner. Here, you’ll also find the main shoot button, as well as the “scope” and the reload ones.
Given the frantic nature of the gameplay, as well as the requirement of fast moves, you’ll often end up cursing at the screen because of your character’s slow movements, even if you’re swiping as fast as you can, or because instead of shoot you touched the other buttons. Some sort of aim assist would’ve been welcome but, considering you earn money depending on your skills and that headshots offer greater rewards, it might have made the game a bit too easy.
Besides shooting your various weapons, you can also apply bandages in order to heal your wounds and drop helpful gadgets like turrets. These bonus items, however, are locked away when you start the game and only once you actually complete many levels do you get to try them out.
Enemies are zombies, so you can’t expect any sort of complex tactics from them, as they just shuffle towards you. Levels are quite large and the nasty monsters crawl out of all sorts of holes and crannies, so you must always rely on your helpful radar to see where the closest opponents are.
Visuals and Sound
In terms of graphics, Dead Trigger delivers a truly stunning experience, especially if you play it on a Tegra 3 tablet, as you can select the Ultra High mode and enjoy impressive textures and models worthy of a full-fledged PC game.
Zombies are varied in appearance while the big environments manage to seem lifelike, even if many areas repeat themselves. There are also some great effects, especially when you pass a leaking pipe and the water drops appear on the screen.
In terms of audio, the zombies sound rather monstrous and the weapons manage to feel marginally different from one another, but you won’t be missing much if you play it on mute.
Know when to retreat ...
... and when to fight
Dead Trigger is a visually stunning experience. Sadly, its top notch graphics and level design are let down by the clunky controls, especially the aiming one that feels quite slow no matter the sensitivity setting.
Still, if you’re looking for an example to show your friends what your Android or iOS device is capable of, you can’t go wrong with this new title from Madfinger Games.
Dead Trigger is available on Android for free and on iOS for $0.99/€0.79.